Maylin Tu

Image courtesy of the NYSE

In the beginning, there was Bird.

When Travis VanderZanden and company dropped the first Xiaomi scooters on the streets of Santa Monica, a micromobility revolution was born. But five years later, the shared micromobility startup’s future is in question.

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Image by Maylin Tu

Yahya Dabbagh isn’t your typical micromobility startup CEO.

For one, he takes a personal approach to customer service. When he feels a rider is trying to game the system by reporting a scooter broken, in order to earn a free unlock (valued at $1), Dabbagh sometimes will call them up.

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Photo by Dogora Sun/ Shutterstock

Last month, Helbiz announced that it had officially acquired Wheels, the West Hollywood-based startup founded by Joshua and Jonathan Viner, co-founders of Wag. But in Los Angeles, there were already signs that things were in flux.

In early August, Culver City announced that Wheels would no longer be operating within its boundaries. Then in September, Wheels also ceased operations in West Hollywood, pending adoption of sidewalk detection technology.

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